Lydia had no intention of marrying Edgar.
She wanted to stay by her father’s side for a little while longer, and because she wanted to continue the job of a Fairy Doctor in the human realm, she accepted the engagement ring from Edgar so that she could put the promise with Kelpie - who wanted Lydia as his bride - and rest it on the shelf.
If she could keep Kelpie at bay, then she figured she could give back the engagement ring to Edgar, but she couldn’t come up with a good plan.
She took out a small box that she had put away in the drawer in her bed chamber and took out the moonstone ring from it to inspect it.
It was a strange moonstone that had a shine inside, which would wax and wane like the real moon.
Tonight, on a bright night of a full moon, the milky white moon appeared like it was shining with its whole surface.
Surprisingly, Lydia was quite attracted to this moonstone. She never grew tired at looking at it, and strangely it would calm her down.
Even if it was this thing’s fault that things were going as Edgar wanted, there was no fault in a gemstone.
It wasn’t like she wanted to own a jewel, but more like the sense of feeling like she wanted to get along with it.
“It seems like the two of you ring nicely.”
Lydia jumped in surprise at the voice that came out from no particular direction and looked around to find the source.
“Its shine hasn’t dulled at all. That’s a relief.”
A fairy’s voice? But, she couldn’t see it anywhere. Lydia guessed it must be quite a small fairy, and started to look under the table and bed.
“Ohh, pardon me. I’ll show myself right now.”
And just then, from a knothole, a hand popped itself out. Next came out a hat, then a head probably and a round shaped body, and when the fairy finally stood up on the floor, it showed that, compared to the knothole, it was bigger, the same size of a wild hare.
The fairy was dressed in a small outfit much like a laborer, and had a red face and a button-like nose, with shaggy, unkempt hair, which made her guessed that he was one that lived in the iron mines.
“Are you, a coblynau?”
“Yes, I am. I have been doing the work of managing gemstones for a long period of time. My partner happens to be that moonstone, and I had lost track of it and looking for it all over the place.”
Coblynaus knew all there was about gemstones and a good-natured fae who would show and tell people about minerals.
They were closely connected with the minerals or in other words jewels that were dug up. Lydia knew that much about them.
“Does each one of your kind keep watch over every single jewel?”
“Only those that have special circumstances. There are stones that happen to be quite particular, but if we are asked to keep watch, then we will take care of it.”
The small fairy climbed up onto Lydia’s lap as she was kneeling down, and looked down into the moonstone.
“Were you well, Bow. I’m happy for you, that you were able to find your queen.”
“This moonstone is a gift the Blue Knight Earl would give his Lady Queen. It this it one is satisfied, it means that you are the Lady Queen, are you not?”
“……Hold on just a moment, this stone has that kind of meaning?”
“Yes, since the Lady Queen of the first Blue Knight Earl was Lady Gwendolyn’s moonstone.”
I didn’t know that.
How could I guess that this stone had such a long and distinguished history?
If she could recall, according to the story about the Lord Blue Knight who was said to be the fore father of the Ashenbert family, he had a wife who was a fairy. And if this ring was hers--
Lydia had a strong feeling like she wasn’t going to be able to escape from Edgar, and that thought made her dizzy.
At this rate, there could be a chance that she might be acknowledged as ‘Queen’ by the fairies that lived on the estates of the earl family.
“Uh, to make things clear, right now, it just happens to be that I have the ring under my temporary possession. So, there really isn’t any deep meaning behind….”
Like she feared, the coblynau wasn’t listening to Lydia’s denial at all.
“My ancestor had been personally asked by Lady Gwendolyn to watch over and take care of this moonstone. I call this one by the name Bow, and I can grasp what is happening to it like it’s a part of my body. So please feel reassured in my care.”
He picked up the ring that was on Lydia’s palm with both of his hands and checked it from all angles. When she thought the fairy looked done, he put it back on Lydia’s finger.
“Ahh, now it’s a perfect fit.”
What!? she thought and lifted her hand up, to see that the size of the ring - which should have been too big for her - was now resting comfortably around her finger. Not only that-
“It’s not coming off!” gasped Lydia.
“We can’t allow you to drop and lose it.”
“That’s not the point, please take it off.”
“The only one who can take it off is the Earl. There should be no point in taking it off in front of other men.”
Oh, you have to be joking!
Lydia tried with all the strength in her body to pull the ring off, but the fairy sat himself on the table, put a pipe in its mouth, made a satisfied look and started to have smoke, so she couldn’t convince him to change this.
“By the way, My Lady Queen, I would like to pay my greetings to the Blue Knight Earl, may I ask where exactly he could be?”
“He isn’t here!”
“Oh, now, is the Earl living separate from My Lady Queen and making you live in such a shabby, small house like this?"
“Sorry for being small and shabby. That’s not the point; we aren’t married, so we don’t live together! So, don’t call me your Queen!”
Lydia was finally starting to become irritated.
“Ohh, so the two of you are still in your engagement period. No wonder this place didn’t look like the grand mansion of the Earl. But, still, your treatment is quite poor. If the two of you were to be engaged, then you would need the appropriate number of dresses and jewels. Oh, yes, I know, I will go and provide my counsel in that matter.”
“I don’t need that!”
Edgar would get overly-excited and definitely get carried away.
“Now, don’t go and do something without me asking for it. Or else, whether you are the manager of the moonstone or not, I’ll kick you out! Because I am a Fairy Doctor!”
When she was about to throw some hawthorn fruit at it, the Coblynau vanished with a poof.
She couldn’t go out in public with the engagement ring on her ring finger. It would also be too much hassle if her father were to notice it.
Since morning, Lydia was hiding her left hand and ate her breakfast, but however much she tried, she couldn’t hold her fork as usual, so she ended up drinking only tea.
“Lydia, are you not feeling well?”
When she was the fastest one to put down her napkin, her father asked her with a worried look on his face.
“N-no, I’m fine. I just wanted to leave early today."
“Is there that much work piled up for you to do?”
“Well, more or less.”
She wanted to leave before he noticed the ring, so Lydia quickly stood up, but her father spoke to stop her.
“About the Earl Ashenbert-”
“No, uh, I just happened to hear a rumor. That you and the Earl were courting….”
“Ohh, yes, he is surrounded with such rumors. Every woman he happens to meet, ends up being rumored to be courting him, so that proves rumors are just troublesome and really unreliable, aren’t they?”
Lydia rushed as she made up an excuse.
“……You’re right. There could be no such thing.”
“No such thing,” she echoed.
“Well, how do you put it, I’m sure there are plenty of women who are fit for the Earl, but courting that doesn’t end with marriage is only a dishonor for the woman. I know that you can stand on your feet and think for yourself, so I don’t think you would be tricked, but-”
Lydia’s father let out a sigh and pushed up his round spectacles and continued his conversation.
“But, if in the case you had some kind of trouble, I want you to come to me for advice. I may be a father who lets you go free and don’t interfere and unreliable, but I am still your parent.”
Oh, she knew she was making him worry. But, she couldn’t let herself confess about the engagement. And, it wasn’t like she really wanted to get married, so that would just make him more worried with the misunderstanding that she may be fooled around with.
“Father, the one who I’m going to choose is a serious and earnest man like you.”
Of course, Lydiawas serious about that.
That’s why - although she didn’t hate Edgar - he wasn’t the type who could be her marriage partner.
I need to hurry up and make him take off the ring.
Lydia hurried her feet to take her exit out of the dining room.
However, there was no way that the Edgar she knew was going to be honest and agree to take off the ring.
“Lydia, you finally decided to put on the ring for me.”
That was the reply Lydia got after she arrived to the Ashenbert mansion a little earlier than usual, and put all her effort in explaining her situation and pleaded to Edgar, who was relaxing himself in the morning room.
“Were you listening to what I’ve been saying?” asked Lydia.
If I don’t calm down, I’ll be doing just what he’s hoping for, however, even though she knew that, a frown was creeping up on her face.
“Yes, a coblynau fairy had put it on your finger, right? And, it said that I’m the only one who can take it off.”
“So-,” urged on Lydia.
“The fairy is correct. Taking off your engagement ring in front of another man is inviting infidelity.”
In-infidelity? At such an indecent word, she was pushed far beyond rage and felt her head going dizzy.
And yet, there was a calm part of her that searched the room and made sure that the kelpie wasn’t hiding anywhere and lowered her voice next to Edgar.
“Ou-our engagement is false! It’s your fault for not acknowledging that, so why do I have to be the one who has to go through this?”
“If you would acknowledge our engagement, then all of our problems will be solved.”
“Stop being so selfish.”
“Does My Lady the Queen have something you are displeased about?”
Oh, here he is again.
Lydia felt tired all of a sudden as she turned around.
The red faced coblynau trotted over to side of the chair that Edgar was on.
“I said don’t call me queen.”
“Oh, yes, of course, My Lady.”
She thought yes, that’s more like it, but she realized that wasn’t the issue, but the fairy quickly knelt down in front of Edgar.
“It is an honor to meet your presence, My Lord Blue Knight Earl.”
“Uhh, are you the caretaker of Gwendolyn’s ring? I can hear you but I’m not able to see you.”
He couldn’t see the fairy’s body because most humans normally couldn’t. But, to call himself the Blue Knight Earl and not be able to see was ludicrous.
However, the coblynau didn’t seem to be bothered, and climbed up onto the table and pulled out a cosmos flower from the vase.
“Would this help?”
Seeing the cosmos floating in the air by itself, Edgar nodded.
“Now, in regards to my visit, My Lord. While I’m here to pay my greetings, I would like to say a word of advice, your treatment of My Lady’s living affairs is quite poor. You must treat her as the Lord Blue Knight had treated a fairy princess in the past.”
“I said stop it, Coblynau.”
“I see, but what should I do?” asked Edgar.
He only ignored Lydia and leaned out over towards the fairy’s direction.
“More than anything else, My Lady’s attire is much too plain.”
“That’s true. I’ve been trying to do something about that periodically, but she only says that she’s here to work and stubbornly comes dressed like this.”
“You are not putting in enough effort. You must treat her so special that she would become tired of it.”
Let’s give it a try, said Edgar and stood up to briskly walk over in front of Lydia who had attempted to flee.
“Oh, Lydia, no matter what you wear, you are always charming, but I think that I’ll be able to lend a hand to make you the most beautiful woman in the world. For example, a diamond would shine even more only when it is methodically cut to collect as much light as it can. You should search for the Lydia that is qualified for such a shine.”
It wasn’t like it wasn’t enough, but this man’s special treatment always went over the line.
“I understand how charming you are more than anyone else, so if you would let me take care of everything, I can transform you into a princess who everyone would admire and envy. I know, since this is good timing, let’s go buy some accessories for our engagement announcement party.”
“Engagement announcement?” baffled Lydia.
“Don’t we need to make that official declaration eventually? When that time comes, I would like it if you would wear the gifts I gave you, and I would prefer to prepare what is most best for you, so I would need to place the orders for them as soon as possible.”
She didn’t know if he was just overdoing in his acting or if he was really serious.
But, whether Edgar was overdoing it, he was the type that might actually make those orders.
The coblynau was nodding in satisfaction, so there was no one to back her up.
“What would you like for your jewels? I’ll get whatever you want.”
In that moment, Lydia suddenly remembered the diamond from yesterday.
She wanted to make sure if it really was a gift for the harem princess.
It wasn’t something very important to her, but she wanted to cause some trouble to Edgar.
“Th-then, the diamond from yesterday, would you give me that?”
If he really would give it to her, then he might go through with the engagement announcement immediately. However, Lydia didn’t think up of that danger.
“It’s a cursed diamond. I don’t want to put you in misery.”
By Edgar backing down, Lydia was made to feel an even stronger feeling like she wanted to bully him.
Like she thought, maybe it really was a present for a woman.
He was a low, frivolous man who had a number of female lovers as he was trying to flirt with Lydia. He deserves to be put in trouble.
“If it was the coblynau, then he might be able to hold down the power of the curse.”
As she said that, she recalled how that was indeed true. He was a fae who had the power to take care of jewels. Nico said that the cursed diamond hadn’t gotten any proper treatment so far. Then she came to the idea, that maybe, the coblynau would be able to return the stone to its original state.
"Is that true?” asked Edgar, turning around.
The coblynau leaned his head to the side as he held the cosmos flower over his head like an umbrella.
“Diamonds are not my specialty, so I can’t exactly say. They are jewels that are the most particular and difficult, so I would need to talk about it with my clan. If it is going to be a gift for my young lady, then I’ll definitely need to do something about it.”
Uh-oh, maybe this was turning out bad.
Lydia finally realized that if he were to give it to her, she would be at the point of no return and cold sweat was starting to come out of her, but Edgar made a small sigh.
“But, Lydia, it can’t be that one.”
“…..Oh, o-of course. It is too expensive. Besides, I couldn’t possibly match it.”
She felt relieved, but at the same time felt servile.
I knew it, he was just talk.
“That’s not it. If you want diamonds, I’ll find the biggest diamonds there is and you can have all you want. But, the diamond you want is no longer here.”
“I gave it away. To someone who wouldn’t be affected by the curse.”
Is that person the pagan princess?
If that woman went so far as to desire a cursed diamond, then she must know a way to lift the curse.
“I know. Why don’t we go to the jewelry store on Bond Street?”
He smiled at her like he was trying to patch things up, but Lydia didn’t have that kind of intention from the start, and suddenly became depressed.
She swiftly shook her head to the sides.
“I was just lying, it’s a lie that I wanted the diamond. Because you were always teasing and playing with me, I just wanted to give you some trouble. Because, well, that kind of amazing diamond isn’t something that can be easily given away. I thought you were sure to be troubled.”
“Lydia, if it was for you, there isn’t anything I would regret.”
Edgar said that, but he did indeed look like he was troubled.
“It doesn’t matter to me. Besides, I have no intention of marrying you.”
She turned her heels around and dashed out of the room.
In the end, she was able to cause some trouble to Edgar. However, it only left her with a bitter after-taste.
When she ran into her work office, Nico was gracefully sipping tea from a teacup.
This fairy cat had taken a liking to the expensive tea provided in the Ashenbert house, and lately hadn’t show a hint of interest in the tea that was served at Lydia’s house.
Fairies are such free-spirited and self-centered creatures, what an easy life it must be for them since they do as they please.
As Lydia thought that, she passed by Nico’s side and sat down in front of her desk.
She ended up not able to have the ring taken off after all.
“Hmm, well, well, this truly is a rare jewel,” came the Coblynau’s voice to Lydia’s ear, as she rested her head in her hand with her elbow on the table.
“That’s candy, and what are you,” said Nico.
Nico stared at the quizzically at the shaggy haired fairy that suddenly appeared on the table.
“He apparently is the caretaker of the moonstone,” answered Lydia.
Which means, as long as Lydia can’t dispose of this, then she’s going to be followed around by this fairy.
“So, Nico, be friendly with him.”
Nico narrowed his eyes like that sounded like too much work for him, but he puffed himself up like a proud senior fairy and opened the lid of the glass pot and held out a candy.
“I give you one. It isn’t a jewel but something to eat.”
“Why thank you. By the way, do you happen to be the young lady’s friend?”
The Coblynau picked out as much of the amber-colored candies as he could carry with both of his arms and stuck them preciously into his pockets.
For some strange reason, all the candies fit into the little fairy’s teaspoon-sized pockets.
Lydia didn’t know how their pockets were made, but apparently the fairies were free to hide and carry things with them that were much bigger than their body.
“Not so much a friend, more like, I’m her guardian.”
Hey, now what part of you is my guardian.
“Even so, my young lady, what is there for you to be displeased with? The Earl had said he would present you with diamonds or anything you like. He appeared to be the generous type to my eyes.”
There is no way I could agree to marrying someone just from receiving gifts from that person.
“What, Lydia, you want diamonds?” said another voice.
Oh, no, here he is again.
The one who came in, as he butted in to their conversation, was a black, wavy-haired Kelpie.
This kelpie fairy always appeared care-free, but then Lydia realized that the sources of her headaches were all caused by him.
“Diamonds don’t fit you. You were always covered in dirt and romped in the grass when you were in Scotland, but ever since you came to the city, aren’t you starting to act a little swank?”
“That has nothing to do with anything. There isn’t any place here that would make me covered in dirt.”
A well-aged daughter couldn’t allow herself to roll down on the grass in the park. Of course, if she were to go ahead and lie down in some random place in the countryside town she grew up in, then people will look at her with their brows turned up, but far beyond the town, in the open and vast grassy fields, Lydia could play and mingle with the fairies in the fairy raths and the vast fields of shamrock without having to worry about people watching her.
“Hey, you should rethink about marrying with the Earl. If you say you want to stay in the human world a little while longer, then you can just live in Scotland. Or, do you want to go back to the other side with me?”offered Kelpie.
For Kelpie, that was quite a compromise. And that actually wasn’t such a bad concession for Lydia.
She would no longer be thrown around by Edgar and won’t have to be dragged into dangerous situations that happened around him, and could live in peace and quiet.
But, the only thing that worried her was the existence of Ulysses who was trying to kill Edgar.
Ulysses had the power of a Fairy Doctor and Edgar wouldn’t be able to do anything by himself.
There may not be that much of a difference even if the half-fledged Lydia were to go against him, but if Ulysses was using fairies’magic for evil purposes, then for the sake of the fairies and as a Fairy Doctor, Lydia felt she needed to stay here.
But, that sort of sounded like an excuse.
No, no, I want to become a Fairy Doctor like my mother.
As she repeated that to herself, Lydia subconsciously stroked the moonstone on her ring finger.
“Should you really make such a promise? Even if I were to return to Scotland, I might find someone else who I would fall in love with,”asked Lydia.
“You’ll just end up heart-broken.”
“Huh? What is that suppose to mean.”
Kelpie perched himself on her desk and gazed down at Lydia from his height.
“There is no way a Fairy Doctor could get along with humans. Because from the perspective of ordinary humans, a Fairy Doctor only appears crazy. Since that’s reality, don’t put your hopes up on human men.”
Kelpie’s eyes had the magic to charm and attract humans, and the dull light from his black pearl eyes confused Lydia’s thinking.
“My mother fell in love with my father and they got married.”
“Well, your father is obsessed with rocks and pebbles, so isn’t normal himself.”
He is a Mineralogist. But even if she corrected him, Kelpie wouldn’t understand.
Lydia let out a sigh, as she thought “However-“. Lydia didn’t think that Edgar was in love with her, but she did feel like he had a good understanding about her ability as a Fairy Doctor.
Maybe because he happened to win the honorable title of Blue Knight Earl and because he needed a Fairy Doctor, he might have had no other choice but to understand.
Or, she wondered if he was someone rare who could understand people like her who lived on the boundary of the two neighboring worlds.
She wondered if it was an extremely rare chance to be able to meet someone like him who was such a peculiar character to choose to marry a Fairy Doctor and support her, even if it was for his own profit.
She wondered once she moved away from Edgar, if she would never be seduced by a man or treated kindly like she was right now.
When she thought about it like that, she was shocked and appalled at realizing there was a part of her didn’t dislike his open, warm and good-willed treatment.
Well, anyone would feel pleased when they were complimented even if it wasn’t from the heart.
…….Well, that’s all there is to it.
“In the first place, I’ve heard that human males are cheaters. Even that Earl was talking about how he gave a diamond to a woman; do you intent on marrying a man like that?”
A woman? Lydia whipped her head up.
“Kelpie, why did you know something like that?”
“When I was bathing in the fountain garden here, he was talking about that with the painter. Said it was a woman in a harem. What’s a harem?”
Huh, so wait, he really is hiding a princess in a harem?
It wasn’t just a rumor?
“Kelpie, you don’t even know a thing like that?” said Nico in a proud way as he combed his whiskers.
“So you know what it is.”
“Of course I do. I am terribly well-informed. It’s a new kind of food.”
“Aha, there really are many names of food in London that we fairies never heard of.”
The one who said that was Coblynau.
“Oh, yeah, who is this awful-tasting looking small one?”asked Kelpie pointing at Coblynau.
Right next to Lydia, who had started to think things over in her mind again, the care-free conversation between the fairies, who were only interested in food, continued on.
The name of the shop was Madam Eve Palace. It was rumored to be a building where the nobles could hide their mistresses, but only ones who knew the truth were the customers.
It was a business where newcomers needed to be recommended by a current customer to join, and Edgar had his name on the list of customers, and when he stepped out of his carriage in front of the store’s gates, he was immediately escorted into the building by one of the servants who practically came tumbling out.
Even though it was day, the rooms had their curtains closed and the hanging chandelier lit up the room so bright it was almost blinding to the eye.
He walked along the deep crimson carpet that spread down the hallway into the back of the building and came to where he was looked down by a marble female statue that was lined up evenly.
The smoke that faintly filled the air made one’s mind grow dull as it made the mind fall under a trance. There must already be someone who had fallen under that sweet aroma and was basking in a daydream about his own harem that was always waiting for him beyond those quiet doors.
The one who was guiding him had changed to another before he had realized it, from the servant who also acted as a bodyguard to a woman who wore a thin cloth over her head.
Eventually, he and his female guide arrived before a double-door at the end of a hallway and the woman opened the door by turning its golden doorknobs for him as she humbly lowered her head.
Edgar stepped through the door.
The room inside was decorated with gold and silver ornaments and garnitures and was only lit by a faint lamp that left the room dark.
The colorfully patterned Persian rug was spread out on the floor decorating the space beneath his feet and the room had fine ebony chairs and tables that played the room down nice and calmly.
In the back of that room, a calico printed chintz curtain was hung, making a temporary wall and divided the room. He could see through the transparently thin cloth, and saw that there was a long and slender sofa on the other side.
He could also see that there was someone sitting on it.
Edgar approached that person who had long hair and a slender figure.
“How are you today, Jean-mary?”
Edgar pulled up the curtain and leaned down to kiss the lady’s hand.
“Were you satisfied with the diamond? It looks lovely on you.”
The woman was wearing foreign clothing, so dressed to look like an Arabian princess, and she sat gazing softly back at Edgar with a faint smile on her lips.
“Lord Edgar, he will be coming soon.”
The one who appeared in the doorway was Raven. Edgar nodded and made a nod to the lady in front of hem and let go of the curtain.
“Jean, I promise that I will avenge for you, so please leave everything to me.”
Then, he went into the small room along with Raven that was behind the large mirror in the same room to hide.
“Raven, how was Paul? Was he able to wheedle the Duke Barkston?”
“He looked like he was managing it somehow.”
“Well, we did have him practice quite a lot. Since the Duke knows my face, I had to ask Paul to be the one to do that part.”
In the small room they were in, which was separated by the magic mirror built into the wall, it was made so that they could look through the mirror into the other room.
At the same time Edgar leaned himself right next to the mirror, the door that entered into the other room was opened and he saw two men come walking in.
“I can understand. In this place, there isn’t one thing is not impossible.”
The pipe that the Duke was smoking had already pushed his consciousness into a dream.
A business that sells dreams: Madam Eve Palace. Here, anyone could forget about the harsh reality outside and dive into the world of their own imagination.
“Yes, you’re exactly right. And then, she revealed to me about the other diamond that is the pair with this Nightmare.”
“Do you mean the white diamond ‘Daydream’ that was said to have disappeared at the same time?”
“Have you ever heard about the myth that the one who possesses the two diamonds, both the white and black, becomes a King who can conquer the world?”
“Yes, that is why England’s Royal Family had continued to search for the lost diamonds. It was said that they fell into the hands of Napoleon, but even if that were so, it seems the diamonds must have forsaken him.”
“For the sake of the growth and expansion of England, the Royal Family must want to get back the diamonds. But, this lady here claims that the white diamond ‘Daydream’ has already returned to the hands of its King.”
“…..Not the Majesty Her Queen?”
“That’s right. The lady wishes to meet the one who possesses the ‘Daydream’ and who she can entrust the care of herself and the destiny of the ‘Nightmare’ to. If it be someone like that, I thought I might be granted a big chance, and so I promised I would help in any way I could. And so, Lord Barkston, due to her most urgent request I had brought this up to you because you might be aware of the owner of the ‘Daydream’.”
“Me, you say?”
“Do you have any idea who that might be?”
The Duke seemed like he was trying to think even as his mind wasn’t running clearly.
“Would you mind showing me the ‘Nightmare?’ If I could see it, I might be able to remember something.”
Edgar paid attention to the expression on Duke Barkston’s face.
It was crucial from this point on.
Paul turned over towards the curtain and knelt down in front of the lady’s feet as she was sitting down on the sofa. But, he was so stiff and cumbersome that he wobbled over a bit.
“Would you lend the Duke your attention? Lady Jean-mary.”
He said it in a monotone, but it wasn’t a problem.
Because just as Edgar anticipated, the Duke’s face went stiff.
And it looked like his lips moved to whisper the name Jean-mary.
Paul opened the thin curtain.
Duke Barkston’s eyes widened. The pipe from his frozen hand fell to the floor but he didn’t bother to pick it up.
Paul rushed to pick it up because he might have worried that the Persian rub might get burned, and that was actually a commoner’s reaction, but to the Duke, and to Edgar, that was something that didn’t matter at all.
He’s caught, whispered Edgar.
“Please Your Grace, would you help her.”
Ahh, yes, he replied, in a somewhat dazed tone.
The woman who he deeply loved and yearned for was right in front of his eyes. The Duke was sure to not refuse her wish.
In his dream at Madam Eve Palace, he was sure to be caught in the dream about his past and by the shine of the black diamond.
That was another scheme made by Edgar in order to get his hands on the one more legendary diamond ‘Daydream.’
He was sure that Duke Barkston had the jewel hidden somewhere.
But, Edgar didn’t know how the Duke came to be connected with Prince.
Edgar still didn’t know what Prince’s intentions or main goal was, and didn’t even know the reason why he was involved with it.
And one of the clues to reach that was The Royal Family’s pair of diamonds.
The black diamond which had apparently absorbed the power of a curse as it went from one hand to another who did not deserve it. But, you could sense that it was the intentions of the people more than the jewel itself that was more powerful as a curse.
Who knew what Jean-mary was thinking as she looked back at the duke.
She looked somewhat hollow and empty and appeared like she had forgotten the man in front of her who she supposedly had hatred for.
That might be right. No longer was this for the sake of Jean, but it could be a personal revenge for Edgar’s sake. If she were able to feel something right now, she could be filled with grief at Edgar’s scheme.
Even if that were so, Edgar wasn’t able to stop himself.
“Raven, now Duke Barkston wouldn’t be able to stop himself from betraying Ulysses after this. He would be sure to sneak out the ‘Daydream’from his hidden spot so that he could give it to her. Tell the ‘Scarlet Moon’to make sure and keep a good eye on him.”
Edgar left Raven alone in the small room and went out to the door in the back to come out to a hallway.
Madam Eve Palace, a private and blissful place that promised a moment of pleasure. Beyond the heavily guarded shut doors, there waited an illusionary world that existed only for the customers.
It was a place that customers could become a king, like a ruling Sultan in his harem. The women who waited for the return of their master were kind and loyal who would never refuse anything.
Even if was called a harem, there were no living, breathing women here who had a will of their own. Because it was just a palace with women who existed to represent the men’s dreams and fantasies.
Even Jean-mary, unrelated to what she would think, existed here for the sake of Edgar’s wish.
And yet, he wanted to think that this was best for her sake than continuing to be used as the solace and comfort object for this man.
Edgar was able to sneak into the room which was filled with that man, Duke Barkston’s excessively partial love, and the portrait paintings that covered up a whole wall of the room made him be filled with a dark monstrous emotion.
The Duke’s secret room. Even Ulysses didn’t know about this place.
It wouldn’t be easy for Ulysses, who just came from America and had the appearance making him look like a young man in his prime to be able to enter into the insular world of the peerage to retrieve the information he wanted. That’s why Edgar decided to use this place as the stage for his plot.
There was only one woman in his harem in this room which was decorated with flowers and jewels and looking like it came out a dream. In all of the countless framed pictures, it was the same smiling woman being portrayed.
Of course, Jean-mary.
“Your Grace, if you want to dream that much, then I’ll make sure you have a nightmare you will never forget.”
Edgar had left the Ashenbert mansion in the afternoon and returned in the evening.
Lydia wanted to make sure he would take off the ring before she had to go home so she invited herself to his salon again.
She lost her momentum because the expression on his face which was reflecting in the glass window he stood by was an near frightening stern look.
It was the cruel and heartless side of Edgar that Lydia was unable to understand.
“Um, if you’re busy, then I’ll come back later….”
“Lydia, you know there is no such thing as being so busy that I have to send you away,”
The man who turned around and said that was the usual Edgar with his irreverent, highhanded kind of smile.
“Did you come to have a last look of your fiancé’s face before you went home?”
“How many times do I have to say that’s wrong? More importantly, this ring…..”
“Can I hug you?”
Edgar was already standing in front of Lydia and didn’t show any signs of goofing around or joking, and just looked down at her longingly with his ash mauve eyes.
“N-no, you can’t.”
Lydia was made to say that mostly from reflex.
“Just one minute,” he negotiated.
“That’s too long.”
“Then thirty seconds.”
Surprisingly he didn’t appear to have any lust about him, but she felt like he just wanted to cuddle up to her like a small child, and that made Lydia say a reply that surprised even herself.
“……If it’s ten seconds, then,”
She wasn’t allowed a moment to take back her reply, as she was swept into his arms.
I wonder if he went through something painful.
While she thought that, she wished she could be of some help, but in the end, Lydia couldn’t release the tension in herself and remained stiff and rigid, so that might have not helped comfort him in any way.
She wasn’t sure if the ten seconds had passed or not, and Edgar didn’t show any signs like he was going to let go, and what made Lydia shift herself to hint to him to let go was the faint smell like an Eastern, Oriental aroma.
“Where did you go?”
That’s a lie.
She was always refusing and couldn’t be a comfort to him, so she didn’t have a right to question where his whereabouts was like a lover.
And yet, she felt disappointment for some reason and didn’t realize that she had let out a sigh.
“Lord Edgar, I heard that you were injured,” said Ermine, who came into the salon carrying a medicine case.
“What, injured? Is that true, Edgar?”
When she took a good look, there was a cut in the shoulder of his coat where blood was seeping out.
“Ohh, just a little. I was suddenly cut with a knife in an alley, but this is nothing. I don’t know who the person is, but that person must have gotten a much more serious injury.”
Raven must have been the one who did that.
If it was to protect his master, then he would release his warrior instincts and attack.
“Hey, isn’t the power of the diamond’s curse still working on you?” asked Lydia.
“Now that you say that, I think I did see a black cat,” recalled Edgar.
“Edgar, are you by chance frequently meeting with the…..uh, the person who you gave the diamond to?”
“If so, will the curse still stay with me?”
So you’re admitting that you’re meeting her?
Lydia was unrelated to that, yet she became irritated.
“At this rate, it will be very dangerous.”
“If it would make you concerned for me, then it isn’t so bad to be cursed.”
You’re so quite to joke around.
“Lord Edgar, I would like to disinfect your wound, so please take off your clothes,” said Ermine crisply and made him sit in a chair.
“Lydia, would you give me a hand?”
“It would be helpful if you unbuttoned this for me. My arm hurts so much I can’t move it.”
“You were moving it just fine a second ago!”
Why does a young girl in the first flush of her youth have to help a man take off his clothes?
She turned around her heels as she steamed in rage.
“If you keep joking around, I will pour a grateful amount of antiseptics on you.”
Lydia glanced over at Edgar out of the corner of her eye as he was scolded by Ermine and replied ‘Yes, yes, all right’ and did as he was told and left the room with that.
I wonder if Ermine isn’t that embarrassed with doing something like that.
Ermine seemed to be used to treating wounds, so most likely she must not mind if Edgar took off his clothes or not right in front of her.
Even if she was in the servant position to Edgar, Ermine appeared like she was allowed to say what she wanted, and so that made them look like they had a more relaxed, friendliness atmosphere between them.
Lydia carried that feeling ever since the first time she met the two of them.
In order to escape from Prince, Edgar was a leader in front of his comrade and friends and Ermine had said before that that solitary position made him alone. But, if he had friends or allies who he could open up his weakness to, then she guessed that someone would be Ermine.
During the time he was in the most pain and anguish, the one who most likely supported Edgar was Ermine.
When she thought about that, Lydia had the feeling she was becoming depressed.
Edgar asked Lydia if he could hold her, but she felt like his treatment of her was careless and rough.
If it was Ermine, then she would answer him by putting her arms around him.
In this moment, in the room that Lydia came running out of, she imagined the sight of the two of them cuddling up next to each other, and dashed to her office.
She let out a sigh after realizing that she missed the opportunity to ask him to take off the ring.
"Lord Edgar, I have bad news,” said Ermine as she wrapped a bandage around his shoulder and arm.
“Jimmy has disappeared.”
Edgar immediately had a bad image run through his mind.
“What do you mean?” he questioned.
“He apparently was eavesdropping on the conversation between the adults. They were making a plan to sneak into the estate of Duke Barkston as servants so they could get information about his movements, but Jimmy went ahead without telling anyone.”
“Then, he was captured?”
“It seems so. There was a fingernail-like object that was sent back to them, most likely from Ulysses. There is no way to determine if it is his or not,” added Ermine.
In a drastically swift second, Edgar’s mind went through numerous different ideas. But first, he wanted to verify something.
“Was that conversation the only one Jimmy heard?”
He asked that as he thought if Slade were to hear this, he would say Edgar was heartless.
“The one who knew about the most important information wasn’t in the group Jimmy was listening to, so he shouldn’t have heard anything about the plan.”
But still, he might have found out that Edgar was the one who had the ‘Nightmare.’
“Which means the problem at hand would be how Ulysses will use Jimmy from now.”
That could be something of a problem which could cause friction between Edgar and the ‘Scarlet Moon’ members.
While there was a young boy who would jump into danger from his devotion to Edgar, on the other hand, there were elder members who were concerned about that.
Just as Slade had been saying, there might be quarrels that could arise within the organization.
Or that also could have been Ulysses’ intention, and so there was still a possibility that he would brutally butcher up Jimmy in order to stretch the gap between the ‘Scarlet Moon’ and Edgar.
“Ermine, I want to rescue him somehow.”
“I will gather information on where he might be held.”
But, in the corner of his mind, there was a feeling like there would be no hope of they boy being alive after falling into the hands of Ulysses.
And yet, Edgar felt disgusted and loathed at himself for not getting disturbed or hysterical about that.
When it was the time with Jean, or anyone else, even the incident with Ermine, he wondered if there was something wrong with him for not being able to become disordered or lose his calm.
Quickly finishing wrapping the bandage, Ermine opened up a new, clean shirt. As he took it, he remembered, out of the blue, about how he asked Lydia if he could embrace her.
It wasn’t enough. She wasn't opening up to him that easily.
At the start, he was only planning to keep her by his side without paying any attention to her feelings. If Edgar had Lydia with him, then he would be able to successfully continue being the Blue Knight Earl.
But, Lydia said his ‘seriousness’ wasn’t love at all.
He considered his feelings as love so he couldn’t understand what she meant.
And yet, if forcing himself on her appeared like he was being unfaithful from her perspective, then he came to the conclusion that he shouldn’t pressure her for a simple kiss.
In regards to Lydia, it was true he was beginning to lose his confidence, but he had no intention of giving up. There was no need to hurry.
It was just, he was annoyed at being unsatisfied, and that made him lose the steadiness in his heart, and then, he started to feel like everything wasn’t going to go well, and that made him depressed.